Words

Words of understanding and sympathy are wonderful instruments for unlocking the hearts and minds of men. They transcend all cultures, turning strangers into brothers, blotting out tolerance and discrimination.

A person who utters words, or does acts of admiration, gratitude, or appreciation only on utilitarian grounds becomes a person without admiration, gratitude or appreciation. If utilitarianism has no place for desert, desert has no place for utilitarianism either.

A simple heart will love all that is most precious on earth, husband or wife, parent or child, brother or friend, without marring its singleness; external things will have no attraction save inasmuch as they lead souls to Him; all exaggeration or unreality, affection and falsehood must pass away from such a one, as the dews dry up before the sunshine. The single motive is to please God, and hence arises total indifference as to what others say and think, so that words and actions are perfectly simple and natural, as in his sight.

It is ever true that the life one lives speaks more loudly than the words one utters.

Good manners may in Seven Words be found: Forget Yourself and think of Those Around.

There are three kinds of silence. Silence from words is good, because inordinate speaking tends to evil. Silence, or rest from desires and passions is still better, because it promotes quietness of spirit. But the best of all is silence from unnecessary and wandering thoughts, because that is essential to internal recollection, and because it lays a foundation for a proper reputation and for silence in other respects.

Let your words be few and digested, it is a shame for the tongue to cry the heart mercy, much more to cast itself upon the uncertain pardon of others’ ears.

It is much easier to think right without doing right, than to do right without thinking right. Just thoughts may, and often do, fail of producing just deeds; but just deeds are sure to get just thoughts. The clearest understanding can do little in purifying an impure heart, the strongest little in straightening a crooked one. You cannot reason or talk an Augean stable into cleanliness. A single day's work would make more progress in such a task than a century's words.

For... what liberty is; there can no other proof be offered but every man’s own experience, by reflection on himself, and remembering what he useth in his mind, that is, what he himself meaneth when he saith an action... is free. Now he that reflecteth so on himself, cannot but be satisfied... that a free agent is he that can do if he will, and forbear if he will; and that liberty is the absence of external impediments. But to those that out of custom speak not what they conceive, but what they heard, and are not able, or will not take the pains to consider what they think when they hear such words, no argument can be sufficient, because experience and matter of fact are not verified by other men’s arguments, but by every man’s own sense and memory.

Words without action are the assassins of idealism.

Prayer is intended to increase the devotion of the individual, but if the individual himself prays he requires no formula; he pours himself forth much more naturally in self-chosen and connected thoughts before God, and scarcely requires words at all. Real inward devotion knows no prayer but that arising form the depths of its own feelings.

He who thinks much says but little in proportion to his thoughts. He selects that language which will convey his ideas in the most explicit and direct manner. He tries to compress as much thought as possible into a few words. On the contrary, the man who talks everlastingly and promiscuously, who seems to have an exhaustless magazine of sound crowds so many words into his thoughts that he always obscures, and very frequently conceals them.

The intention makes the lie not the words.

Consciousness... does not appear to itself chopped up in bits. Such words as “chain” or “train” do not describe it fitly as it presents itself in the first instance. It is nothing jointed; it flows. A “river” or a “stream” is the metaphor by which it is most naturally described.

We can act as if there were a God; feel as if we were free; consider Nature as if she were full of special designs; lay plans as if we were to be immortal; and we find then that these words do make a genuine difference in our moral life.

Every man is an island. Each person radiates feelings to others, but ultimately we are alone. For me, the essence of life is how we handle our loneliness. There are moments when we manage to resolve this loneliness through personal relationships, especially through love. But there are also certain situations in which you feel truly alone, when even words and affection cannot ease your fears.

It may well be that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition is not the glaring noisiness of the so-called bad people, but the appalling silence of the so-called good people. It may be that our generation will have to repent not only for the diabolical actions and vitriolic words of the children of darkness, but also for the crippling fears and tragic apathy of the children of light.

Men are not to be judged by their looks, habits, and appearances; but by the character of their lives and conversations, and by their works. It is better to be praised by one's own works than by the words of another.

Good words shall again you honor in the marketplace; but good deeds shall gain you friends among men.

Kindness in words creates confidence, kindness in thinking creates profoundness, kindness in giving creates love.